Michael Burchwell v. Warren County, Ohio
Per Curiam OPINION filed : we AFFIRM the district court's judgment, decision not for publication. Gilbert S. Merritt, Circuit Judge; Julia Smith Gibbons, Circuit Judge and Bernice Bouie Donald, Circuit Judge.
NOT RECOMMENDED FOR FULL-TEXT PUBLICATION
File Name: 14a0850n.06
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS
FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT
WARREN COUNTY, OHIO,
Nov 13, 2014
DEBORAH S. HUNT, Clerk
ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED
STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR
THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF
BEFORE: MERRITT, GIBBONS, and DONALD, Circuit Judges.
PER CURIAM. Michael Burchwell appeals the district court’s judgment dismissing his
complaint, filed under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Burchwell filed a § 1983 complaint against Warren County, Ohio, alleging that several
violations of his constitutional rights occurred during his criminal proceedings in state court.
Burchwell specifically alleged that the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office pressured the
complainant to pursue the criminal case using payments and threats and that the judge threatened
him with incarceration if he refused to proceed pro se. Burchwell sought monetary relief. The
district court dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be
On appeal, Burchwell argues that the district court erred by dismissing his complaint.
We review de novo the dismissal of a complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted. D’Ambrosio v. Marino, 747 F.3d 378, 383 (6th Cir. 2014), petition for cert.
Burchwell v. Warren Cnty., Ohio
filed (Oct. 2, 2014) (No. 14-393, 14A91). To survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must
contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its
A municipality may be held liable under § 1983 only where the plaintiff’s federal rights
were violated because of a municipal policy or custom.
Thomas v. City of Chattanooga,
398 F.3d 426, 429 (6th Cir. 2005). To properly allege a municipal liability claim, a plaintiff
must allege facts showing that an official with final decision-making authority ratified illegal
actions or that there existed an illegal official policy or legislative enactment, a policy of
inadequate training or supervision, or a custom of acquiescence to federal rights violations.
D’Ambrosio, 747 F.3d at 386.
Because the prosecutor and judge were acting on behalf of the state in Burchwell’s
criminal proceedings, they were not acting as policymaking officials for Warren County, such
that the county may be held liable for their actions. See id.; Pusey v. City of Youngstown,
11 F.3d 652, 659 (6th Cir. 1993). And Burchwell has not otherwise alleged facts showing that a
county policy or custom deprived him of his federal rights. Thus, the district court properly
dismissed Burchwell’s complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Accordingly, we affirm the district court’s judgment.
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